IF you're into your skittles, now's your chance to compete in the game's first ever world cup.

Skittles teams in the Taunton area and further afield are being given the chance to sign up to take part in a contest that could go global.

The inaugural Taunton Cider Skittles World Cup is soon being launched at the Hatch Inn, in Hatch Beauchamp.

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow will be there to throw the first ball and organisers are hoping plenty of local teams sign up to compete in a particularly Somerset sport that could reach a worldwide audience.

Ms Pow said: "I am delighted to support Taunton Cider at their Skittles World Cup by throwing the first ball.

"This is a wonderful initiative by Taunton Cider to bring together our pubs up and down the country to participate in a much-loved pub game."

Teams of four players will compete in the competition, which is open to pubs and bars around the world - assuming they're happy to travel.

Entry is open to any establishment serving Taunton Cider.

The winners will receive a prestigious, specially designed trophy crafted by Somerset-based sculptor Stephen Coles.

Somerset County Gazette:

So, if you think you've got what it takes to be a world cup winner, why not sign up before the deadline?

Entry forms can be found here.

The words Taunton Cider and skittles used to go hand in hand until the original Taunton Cider was bought up in the 1990s and production switched from its home of almost 100 years in Norton Fitzwarren to Shepton Mallet before the name disappeared.

The Taunton Cider Company revived the famous name in a bid to bring back the glory days of its predecessor, which used to produce 30 million gallons of cider a year and employed 550 workers at its peak in the mid-1990s.

The new firm has got off to a promising start and scooped the Start up Business of the Year South West title at the FSB Awards.

Jonathan Dunne, of the Taunton Cider Company, said: "It’s been a fantastic year since we launched and it’s great to mark our achievements and growth with the launch of the Taunton Cider Skittles World Cup."

Paul Jones, editor of your County Gazette, the competition's media partner, said: "I am thrilled and proud that the Gazette is associated with two bastions of Somerset - cider and skittles.

"I'm sure the competition will capture the imagination of all skittles enthusiasts and hopefully the world cup will be won by a team from the Taunton area."